Gazette Drouot logo print
Lot n° 88

WIM DELVOYE (Belgium, 1965). "Studies for Cloaca...

result :
Not available
Estimate :
Subscribers only

WIM DELVOYE (Belgium, 1965). "Studies for Cloaca Original- Study #50", 2001. Mixed media on paper. Unique work. Signed, dated and titled in the lower right corner. With "Cloaca" stamp in the lower right corner. Attached certificate issued by Guy Pieters, Guy Pieters Gallery. Measurements: 23.5 x 46 cm; 40.5 x 63.5 cm (frame). "Cloaca" was Wil Delvoye's most controversial and revolutionary project, the result of a three-year collaboration with scientists from the University of Antwerp, whose shared mission was to replicate the human digestive system as closely as possible. It consisted in the realization of a large machine built from chemical beakers, electric pumps and plastic tubes arranged on a series of seven stainless steel tables capable of transforming food into feces. The installation was shown as part of the retrospective exhibition "Wim Delvoye - Cloaca 2000-2007" at the Casino Luxembourg-Forum d'art contemporain. The huge machine was activated on October 13 (Museum Night) and fed twice a day from a large funnel accessed by climbing a ladder. At the opening of the work, Delvoye himself climbed the ladder to pour the succulent, completely real food into the funnel for the first time. Internally, the machine functioned like a stomach: the food was chewed by a garbage disposal device before traveling a 27-hour digestive journey through six glass vats connected by tubes, pumps and various electronic components that were the stomach, pancreas, and the small and large intestines of the sewer. The "digested" food was constantly maintained at a precise temperature of 37.2 degrees Celsius and each of Cloaca's "organs" was filled with enzymes, bacteria and acids. With "Cloaca" Wil Delvoye forced viewers to become aware of our social discomfort with such functions considered scatological that we insist on keeping out of sight and out of society. Wim Delvoye is a Belgian neo-conceptual artist known for his inventive and often shocking projects. Much of his work focuses on the body. As critic Robert Enright wrote in the art magazine Border Crossings, "Delvoye engages in a way of making art that reorients our understanding of how beauty can be created." Wim Delvoye has an eclectic oeuvre, exhibiting his interest in a range of subjects, from bodily function and scatology to the function of art in today's market economy, and numerous themes in between. He lives and works in Ghent (Belgium). He trained at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts (Ghent). Soon after, Delvoye began repainting on wallpaper, coloring existing patterns and challenging the value of free expression vibrating in the art world of the time. Delvoye considers himself a creator of concepts. After 1990, specialists led by Delvoye have executed most of his work. In 1992, he received international recognition with the presentation of his "Mosaic" at Documenta IX, a symmetrical display of tiles glazed with photographs of his own excrement. Documenta IX organizer Jan Hoet said, "Wim Delvoye's strength lies in his ability to engineer conflict by combining fine art and popular art, and playing seriousness against irony." Three of his best known projects are "Cloaca", "Art Farm" and a series of gothic works. Delvoye is perhaps best known for his digestive machine, Cloaca, which he presented at the Museum voor Hedendaagse Kunst in Antwerp, after eight years of consultation with experts in fields ranging from plumbing to gastroenterology. In a 2013 exhibition in New York, Delvoye showed intricate laser-cut works that combined architectural and figurative references with forms such as a Möbius strip or a Rorschach inkblot. He has had numerous solo exhibitions in museums throughout Europe, including the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, and MUHKA, Antwerp (both in 2000), and was a participating artist in the 48th Venice Biennale (1999) and documenta IX (1997).